Typing Ancient Greek without pain.
July 25, 2010 10:51 PM   Subscribe

I am really tired of using using Unicode or the Microsoft Word symbol function to type in Greek, and learning the polytonic keyboard is giving me spasms. Does anyone know of a good WYSIWYG editor for Ancient Greek that includes macrons, breathing, iota subscript and accent? Something similar to this, but for Greek, would be perfect.
posted by flibbertigibbet to Technology (11 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: What if you go to SIL and download Doulos, Gentium, or Charis AND the IPA keyboard layout (they also have a Legacy Greek fontset)? If you are on a Mac, you can then set the International and Character palettes in the top toolbar, as well as set a keyboard shortcut (I use command+spacebar) to toggle between the IPA keyboard layout and the British or US layouts. The SIL page (same link as above) has a downloadable guide for what the keyboard shortcuts are for the IPA keyboard layout, and once you learn those for adding macrons, breathing, etc. you can type in Greek wicked fast! Good luck!

The keyboard layout (and shortcuts) works with any font (Arial Unicode, etc.) that has defined characters for those features built into the typeface...you are not necessarily relegated to Doulos, Gentium or Charis. But, depending on the symbols you need, you probably are. Lame, I know.

(You can do all this stuff on a Windows machine too...I just don't know how.)
posted by iamkimiam at 11:05 PM on July 25, 2010

On a mac, use the keyboard viewer.
posted by stereo at 11:27 PM on July 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Hm, I probably should've mentioned that I'm stuck with Windows.

Thanks for the leads, though!
posted by flibbertigibbet at 12:09 AM on July 26, 2010

Best answer: Is this what you want?
posted by wayland at 1:26 AM on July 26, 2010

This, from Tyndale House, Cambridge, might help: http://www.tyndale.cam.ac.uk/index.php?page=unicode. You might also find their weblinks useful.
posted by davemack at 4:08 AM on July 26, 2010

If I was trying to do this I might create Word macros that paste each single character and then make toolbar buttons for them. That way you could just keep using Word. (I'm pretty sure you can do that but it's been a long time since I've used Word.)
posted by XMLicious at 6:24 AM on July 26, 2010

That sounds a bit confusing now that I re-read it... I mean that you would create one toolbar button, for each Greek letter, which would fire off the corresponding macro that pastes that particular letter in.
posted by XMLicious at 6:27 AM on July 26, 2010

Best answer: Also I think this is the Windows equivalent of what stereo mentions for the Mac, which would probably be easier than my suggestion above.
posted by XMLicious at 6:30 AM on July 26, 2010

Response by poster: Thank you so much, wayland!! That is perfecto.

XMLicious: thanks for the link to the virtual keyboard, I'll see if I can set that up so I'm not permanently reliant on wayland's link.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 8:04 AM on July 26, 2010

Best answer: I use Unicorn for typing Greek in large amounts. Its input is beta code, which I already knew from back before we had Unicode support on the web (it uses the Perseus-style variant with lower-case, not the TLG all upper-case), and it is about a million times easier to type than using polytonic keyboard layouts. However, for small amounts, I do just use the polytonic Greek keyboards (both on my Mac at home and my PC at work); sitting there going 'which combination makes a smooth breathing plus acute accent arrrgh!' is still faster than opening another program and cutting-pasting. But if I'm doing more than a word I definitely use Unicorn. It even has a spell-check!
posted by lysimache at 8:51 AM on July 26, 2010

Response by poster: Lysimache, that is awesome. I really appreciate you posting that!

In between weyland and lysimache, I'm all set. Thank you both so much!
posted by flibbertigibbet at 10:08 AM on July 26, 2010

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